What Does God's Goodness Do?
Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good. - Psalm 25:7
Answer me, Lord, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me.Do not hide your face from your servant; answer me quickly. - Psalm 69:16
Throughout the Psalms (the prayer book of the Bible), people appeal to God’s goodness in a number of ways. The prayers above could be paraphrased like this:
Because you are good, forgive my badness.
Because you are good, hear me even though you seem distant.
David, who wrote these prayers, is clearly counting on the fact that God’s goodness makes the difference in these tricky situations: he’s aware of his badness, so he appeals to God’s goodness; he’s aware of God’s distance, so he appeals to God’s goodness. These psalms give the unmistakable sense that David’s bedrock experience in life is that God is indeed good, and that this goodness is a game changer. It means God can be trusted, even in situations that might otherwise feel really precarious (think about it - doesn’t it feel a bit dangerous to tell God about your badness or about how you feel like God’s been distant?).
Today, write down a short prayer to God about something tricky going on in your life, and in it specifically appeal to God’s goodness. Take some time to reflect on what difference that would make. Then speak that prayer out loud to God.